Something's up with Alonso definitely, he has offered himself to Red Bull or at least tried to create the impression he has (story run by Autosport.com so reliable), he was told off in a remarkably public way by Luca di Montezemolo, he replied to it on Twitter half-indirectly, now Domenicali half-indirectly threatens him as well, it's painfully obvious the relationship between Alonso and Ferrari is not what it was 6 months ago.
Now that fact is clear, there's still 3 mysteries attached to it:
1. What sparked this breakdown in the first place?
2. Is it bad enough for Alonso to really move?
3. Is there a realistic option for Alonso to move to, anyway?
And to answer these questions, there's little we can do but speculate and offer theories:
1.a) The simple fact Ferrari haven't been good enough for a while, and Alonso having excelled individually throughout his period at the Scuderia is starting to get fed up with it and feels entitled to a better car, time running out within his career. It's obvious this is a factor, but is it the sole reason he's unhappy? It's big enough of a reason, but we don't know for sure.
1.b) The rumoured deal of Kimi back to Ferrari. Some people are dead sure this is happening, others think it's complete horseshit. If true, one possible explanation is that Ferrari want to put Kimi in Massa's place to improve the team's strength in the WCC and this is what annoyed Alonso to begin with - who may not be necessarily "scared" of Kimi but is more than happy with Massa as a team-mate of course.
1.c) Ferrari may not be looking good for next year. Now this is a wild thing to speculate on, as even insiders in the know will have no idea how their own teams will stack up vs the competitors after a regulation change. Hell, it's entirely possible Ferrari will do a 2002 next year, and everyone worrying about them would suddenly look very silly. But most people seem to be backing the Mercedes and Renault packages to be stronger. Combine that with their wind tunnel problems and Alonso may have reached the conclusion he needs to GTFO of there as soon as possible.
1.d) Some other unknown internal conflict. Another wild thing to speculate on, but the Scuderia environment is not short on egos starting by dear Fernando himself (like most other drivers, to be fair). A couple internal debates gone sour and things could've escalated quickly.
a) is obvious, but is there an element of b), c) or d)?
Now to the next question:
2. Well there's only two possible answers, yes or no. He has precedent on a spectacular internal fallout pushing him out of a top team mid-contract (2007), but that was sparked by an incredibly serious, abnormal situation, which is unlikely to ever happen again. The answer to this question will be linked to the following: he's not gonna leave unless there's a realistic exit plan out there.
3. a) Red Bull. Well Fernando may want a Red Bull, but I don't think there's a hope in hell that's gonna happen. If Vettel was really off to Ferrari I suppose it could happen, but that rumour has long died down since Vettel tied himself up for next year. Red Bull appear to have decided against pairing Kimi next to Vettel on the basis Kimi would be a bit too good to upset Vettel, so now they'd take Alonso, who is probably even quicker than Kimi and a lot more confrontational than him? No way.
3. b) Mercedes. Driver lineup absolutely locked in, with a duo that works perfectly, and a lead driver that nearly sparked World War 3 last time he was paired with Alonso. Not gonna happen in a million years.
3. c) McLaren. Well Honda certainly would like a star name, but not only are McLaren looking a bit lost in performance for the immediate future, as long as Ron Dennis is still alive and has the slightest bit of influence in the team, they're more likely to hire Taki Inoue than Fernando.
3. d) Lotus. This is the exact same scenario as 2008 isn't it, Fernando back to his original home as a stop-gap until something better appears in the future. Slight problem: they're broke and can't even pay their current driver. So either Fernando takes a pay cut or finds a way to bring the cash himself. Even if he manages to do that by, say, bringing over Santander, which is gonna be incredibly hard as a lot of contracts would need to be bent, the cash would not come in time to be invested in the 2014 machine which is halfway in development at the moment. So he'd be moving to somewhere very likely uncompetitive... now wait a minute, isn't the lack of performance at Ferrari the very reason he wants out? It's not impossible but not making 100% sound sense neither, this move.
3. e) any other team. He'd be better off taking Lotus.
3. f) 1-year sabbatical. Again, he'd be better off taking Lotus just not to get rusty. This could however happen if he manages to piss off Ferrari so bad they pay him not to drive, anywhere, like Kimi in 2010.
So my conclusion is actually fairly simple: he either stays put or takes a step back to Lotus, which doesn't make a lot of sense if he wants out for performance reasons anyway. Something's lost somewhere in translation. Maybe he thought he had a real shot at Red Bull. Maybe he thinks Lotus is actually going to beat Ferrari next year. Maybe he never wanted to leave Ferrari in the first place, only to give them a scare, and that may still turn out to be the case. Maybe he wants out for emotional not logical reasons. Whatever way it plays out, I'm afraid things don't look like they're going according to plan for Fernando.